We’re sure you’ve seen the increase in interest around matcha recently, and for good reason! Matcha is not only delicious, it’s also filled with health benefits! Today we’re doing a little introduction to matcha to answer a few of your questions and give tips on preparation!
A little matcha history:
Contrary to the popular belief that matcha derives from Japan, it originally emerged during the Song Dynasty in China. Matcha is made from a shade grown green tea, also known as Gyokuro that is carefully steamed and meticulously dried. After the steaming process, the leaves are separated from the stems and the leaves alone, called tencha, are grounded into a powder called matcha. The art of producing, preparing, and consuming this powdered tea became a ritual performed by Zen Buddhists in China. In 1191, a Zen monk by the name of Eisai, traveled to Japan and introduced matcha to the country. As matcha’s popularity lessened in China, the Japanese embraced this powdered tea. Matcha eventually became an important part of rituals in Zen monasteries in Japan.
Art of Tea Matcha:
At Art of Tea, we offer two types of matcha–ceremonial and culinary. Ceremonial Matcha is primarily from Japan. It is typically stone grounded into a fine powder producing a brighter green hue. The powder is whisked back and forth rapidly to create frothiness when preparing. Ceremonial Matcha has a grassy taste with a sweet undertone. Grade A Matcha, on the other hand, is the matcha used in cooking and is added in lattes and iced teas.
The preparation process for matcha depends on what you are creating. A few of our favorite ways to prepare matcha include traditional matcha preparation, our Art of Iced Matcha, and baking with matcha (like this Matcha Pound Cake)!
For traditional matcha preparation, follow these steps using a matcha bowl, whisk, and scoop:
1. Preheat the tea bowl with boiling water and moisten the tea whisk.
2. Scoop 2 grams (1/4 teaspoon per 6-8oz of water) of matcha green tea and add approximately one teacup of hot water.
3. Hold the bowl firmly with one hand and whisk from left to right to form frothy bubbles. Whisk the Matcha well and break up any small lumps with the tip of your whisk. This assures the most optimal flavor and a smooth and creamy texture.
4. Hold the whisk in the middle of your foam, and allow the liquid inside the whisk to draw off, then gently remove.
That’s it! You’ll have a delicious cup of matcha ready to enjoy!
Wondering about those health benefits we mentioned earlier? Stay tuned for more posts in our matcha series where we will be chatting about the health benefits of matcha, sharing recipes using it, and other useful tips and information all about matcha green tea!
In the mean time, leave your questions about matcha below and we’ll answer them in our matcha FAQ coming later this month!